Haidara: The statistics favour Algeria
Friday’s Algeria versus Cote D’Ivoire fixture has certainly headlined the quarter-finals stage of the ongoing TotalEnergies African Nations Championship and according to The Elephants coach, Souhalio Haidara, Algeria are the favourites.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the coach said they have done well and it was impressive they had not lost a match during the group stages.
Also present at the conference was his captain, Semelo Gueï who said: “We respect this Algerian team. However, we are here to also make a name for ourselves and we don't want to go home and for that, it will have to win for us”.
To defeat the Fennecs, the coach said as much as they have won all their group matches, they are not a high-scoring side.
“They don't score a lot. It's up to us to make sure they stay less effective in the penalty area and to score one goal more than them to ensure that victory for us”, he said.
Another important aspect that may work in favour of the hosts will be the vocal crowd, something that the coach says will have to be somehow turned into their own motivation.
“We will have to transform it into our own motivation. We all know how important the Algerian supporter are and how much they love football. However, we must know that the Algerian supporters are not the ones playing on the field. We are playing against eleven opponents and we need to compete”, said Haidara.
The psychological aspect was not ruled out as a deciding factor as Guei gave credit to how his coach is working on the team’s mental preparation.
“He knows us very well. I think as a footballer he knows me better than myself. He puts us in good mental space which is very important in such a game”, he said.
The winner of Friday’s encounter will head to Oran’s Miloud Hadefi Stadium to face the winner between Niger and Ghana.